MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After flying from Miami to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Ivan McCartney Tweeted “Next stop Morgantown” where the receiver planned to meet with WVU football coaches and rejoin the program he left last November.
The former four-star recruit announced Friday night he was returning to WVU for his senior season, a curious turnaround considering McCartney’s junior season ended when he quit the team after the eighth game, citing what coach Dana Holgorsen referred to as “personal reasons.”
McCartney made 49 catches for 595 yards as a sophomore in 2011, in what seemed to signal breakout ability. But he caught only nine passes for 112 yards last season, unable to get much playing time behind WVU’s record-setting tandem of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, and by the development of senior J.D. Woods.
McCartney became the second wide receiver to leave the team during a four-day span last November, joining freshman Travares Copeland, who subsequently transferred to N.C. State.
West Virginia’s receiving competition looks to be wide open, with three junior college signees — Kevin White, Ronald Carswell and Mario Alford — expected to contribute, and incoming freshman Shelton Gibson representing the highest-rated player from February’s recruiting class. Where McCartney fits in after being away from school for a semester, and what he must do to regain the coaches’ confidence, should make for an interesting summer.
By Saturday afternoon, a Twitter follower asked McCartney if he would still wear the No. 5 jersey, to which the receiver replied “idk yet.”